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Language and place. March 2015

Dear friends, - advisory board, colleagues and partners,

With this, our second newsletter from the Language and Place-project, we bring you an update on our fieldwork and activities plus a report from our first team seminar.

We wish you a very happy Easter.
Best regards, 
Pia and Maria

Fieldwork and data

We are proud to be able to tell you that we now have completed all fieldwork! In the months to come we, therefore, change focus from collecting data to having it transcribed and analyzed.

Data from Bylderup, 28 informants:

  • 28 sociolinguistic interviews with focus on place conducted by a standard speaking interviewer (Henrik)
  • 28 sociolinguistic interviews with focus on place conducted by a dialect speaking interviewer (Malene)
  • Group-recordings of all informants during physics lessons and mathematics lessons (Astrid)
  • Recordings (video and audio) of three focus group sessions regarding the local place identity (Astrid)
  • Self-recordings of 9 informants
  • Questionnaires regarding habits everyday mobility (Astrid)
  • Mental maps regarding different aspects of everyday mobility and sense of place (Astrid)
  • Ethnographic observations during lessons and breaks (Astrid, Henrik and Malene)
  • Ethnographic observations of selected informants during peer-group, spare time activities (sports etc.) (Astrid)
  • 54 video recordings of student counselling (Jann)

Data from from Vollsmose, 73 informants:

  • 70 sociolinguistic interviews with individual informants with focus on place conducted by a standard speaking interviewer (Pia and Astrid)
  • Group-recordings of most informants, mainly during Danish lessons and mathematics lessons (Astrid)
  • Recordings (video and audio) of six focus group sessions regarding the local place identity (Astrid)
  • Questionnaires regarding habits  of everyday mobility (Astrid)
  • Mental maps regarding different aspects of everyday mobility and sense of place (Astrid)
  • Ethnographic observations during lessons and breaks (Pia, Jann and Astrid)
  • Ethnographic observations of selected informants during peer-group, spare time activities (Astrid)
  • 10 sociolinguistic interviews with 9th graders at Munkebjergskolen, a public school in a more affluent area (compared to Vollsmose) of Odense (Jesper, Pia)
  • 65 video recordings of student counselling (Jann)

Astrid listening through the door during a focus group session in Bylderup.

Workshop: Odense and Vollsmose

Wednesday March the 11th the group met for a one-day seminar devoted to the study of Odense. See program (in Danish).

The purpose was to provide us with a common ground of knowledge about Odense as a place, its history and demographic developments. Particular attention was given to Vollsmose and the concept of ‘ghetto’, and discussions treated thematics like ‘is there an Odense dialect?’, ‘why do we – as it appears – find little use of Odense dialect in Vollsmose?’, ‘what is the characteristics of Vollsmose as a place?’. Anja presented her latest research on urban ‘zones’ and introduced us to a multidimensional model which in very complex ways use statistics and geographical information to illustrate dynamic changes in different urban zones. We discussed the possibilities of applying such a model to Odense and Bylderup. One of the conclusions of the seminar was that Vollsmose most likely is to be characterized as a ‘zone of transition’ in Anja’s terms – something we would to look further into.

The seminar was inspiring and rewarding for our ongoing collaborative work on language and place. We are looking forward to our autumn seminar which will focus on Bylderup.

Most of the research group: Pia, Henrik, Astrid, Jesper, Anja and Malene at the Odense workshop. Jann is the photographer.

Public communication since the previous newsletter

Astrid presented her Ph.D. study at the international “Copenhagen Winter School in Sociolinguistics” held at University of Copenhagen from the 16th to the 23rd of March.

Pia gave a lecture with the title ”Does the urban-rural dichotomy still make sense in dialect research?” at a the Urban Culture Lab, Faculty of Humanities.



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Sendt d. 27 March 2015